From top: Leo Varadkar in the Phoenix Park, Dublin last Snday; Deputy Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Taoiseach Elizabeth Canavan

“Outdoor spaces and tourism sites, including car parks beaches and trails will be opened, where people can move around freely and where social distancing can be maintained. If you’re visiting a public amenity, try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics. Please do your exercise and then go home.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Taoiseach, Elizabeth Canavan on May 18

Fluffybiscuits writes:

Leo contravening the goverment’s own advice: No picnics in the park?

Yesterday: Sunday In The Park With Leo

Irish taoiseach Leo Varadkar denies picnic with friends was Covid-19 rule breach (The Guardian)


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46 thoughts on “Picnicked

  1. Lois

    Well its not like he drove 250 odd miles with a five year old in the car to test his eyesight because that would make him beyond stupid

    1. Chummley

      Yes sun bathing as the country is facing its biggest disaster since the potato famine

      Meanwhile no day off for people desperately trying to run their business

  2. Cian

    If you’re visiting a public amenity, try not to stay too long at the site or have picnics.

    There are two ways to parse this sentence:
     1. try not to (stay too long at the site) or (have picnics)
     2. try (not to stay too long at the site) or (have picnics)

    #1 Perhaps he tried not to have a picnic.. and he failed.
    #2 We are being actively encouraged to try to have picnics… and he succeeded.


    1. Dr.Fart

      haha, you’re actually quite funny when you’re not just blindly defending all and sundry in Fine Gael.

    2. Chummley

      Yep maybe he is a sandwich the double decker Leo super Dopper sandwich short of a picnick

  3. Andy Pipkin

    I know where I’ll be staying next time I’m in Dublin,

    It will be in a State-owned lodge in Phoenix Park for as little as €50 per night.
    Steward’s Lodge on the grounds of the Farmleigh estate.

    If it’s good enough for Leo, it’s good enough for me!!

    1. b

      i think its a bit odd that the State is making the Taoiseach pay to use a residence in order to have better WFH facilities

      seems a perfect use of an otherwise empty residence?

  4. jockey

    I feel like public perception is so far up on his list, and the list of his advisers. Surely he knew that some idiot would take pictures and put them up on the web for other idiots (who probably haven’t even read the the list of restrictions) to lambaste him about. Literally every angle would have been scrutinised before he went to the park and yet people are acting like he was thoughtless about it. The surprising thing was he thought it would be worth it, I think I’d rather stay at home.

    1. Johnnythree

      But thats the thing, there are three possible explanations:
      1. Leo and advisors are more stupid than we thought and can’t read the social mood/ see consequences (they have form)
      2. He did it deliberately to do the ‘man of the people’ thing.
      3. He did it to divert news/ reporting on something else.
      Which do you think?

      1. Cian

        4. he is human and wanted to see his mates. He met them within the confines of the laws[1]:

        “gather together outdoors for social or recreational purposes, within a 5 kilometre radius of the relevant residence […] with a maximum of 3 other persons, where one or more of such persons resides in the relevant residence and one or more of such persons does not so reside,”,

        [1]Assuming the four of them all live within the 5km of the park.

        1. Johnnythree

          Given we are in a pandemic and have yet to revisit t he homelessness/ health crisis that he left in his wake maybe it would be wise to meet his mates in the stewards cottage and hang out there. Common sense eludes him though so my guess is its 1 with a sprinkling or 2.

          1. Cian


            He can’t have friends over – unless they sit in the garden.
            Perhaps the cottage is outside the friends’ 5km limit?
            Who knows.

            But he is as entitled to use the Phoenix Park as the rest of us.

          2. Clampers Outside

            That’s an admission that this nonsense outrage is all about the optics, the impression, that his presence in the park for a period of time unknown is all about, rather than the simple truth that he was in the park as per the rules just like all those around him.

          3. Clampers Outside

            To clarify, I mean by admission, that you are admitting to being nothing more than a curtain twitcher looking for something to give out about.

      2. broadbag

        He’s PR obsessed so it’s definitely no.2, like when that gobsheen Bertie went on RTE’s Premiership programme and slobbered his way through some analysis.

      3. jockey

        I think it’s no coincidence it happened within 24 hours of no deaths occurring. I’m not saying they can predict who will die or not, but they do have insight into critical cases and how they are progressing. Maybe it’s a good thing from a PR perspective – Trump/Boris are crumbling under media pressure as their countries record 100s of deaths (on top of 1000s), while Ireland records no cases and are so comfortable with the situation their Taoiseach is able to relax in the park.

        Gut feeling is – Man of the people, trying to show people that you can have a good time with a small number of people if you keep your distance and be responsible. He knew there’d be backlash but hoped the zero deaths recorded in 24 hours would depress any bad media about him.

  5. :-Joe

    I’m no fan of the undemocratically elected charlatan that is der leodar and his ilk of pr-spun corporate sales/middle-managment status quo for the elite and consistent failure and persistent contempt for the public good… F-f/g politics as a whole.

    Similar to the dominic “wannabe vladimir surkov” cummins story in britain, it’s a complete non-issue and a total petty, lazy, ridiculous and offensive waste of everyone’s time. If anything at all, it only shows how pathetic the media both officially and superficially have become and that they still have even more to answer for than before…

    Tabloid style pseudo-journalism plays perfectly into the hands of those already encouraging politics based on image, personality, gossip and the rest of the pr-spun distraction by a media system already poisoned with pr, lies and corruption at every level.

    The energy expended would have been better utilised investigating some of the real problems of politics and democracy in Irish politics.

    Ask yourselves what stories are not making it into your mainstream consumer channels or are only being reported on briefly at the fringes, if apart from a mere mention are even being reported on at all?

    What are the stories outside of the traditional propaganda spoonfeeding by corporate owned media and commercial journalism interests that are intentionally boring you into stupidity with repetition of nonsense to keep you from knowing more and becoming a nuiscance to their lowest common denomination profit model way of life?

    Instead of feeding this distraction what is the current real story or stories that we all should be talking about right now?.. Is it :

    The fact that this clown is undemocratically elected and about to oficially be re-elected and waltz his way back into government?…

    The general corrupt practices of the corporate and state media in collusion with F-f/g political hedgemony?..

    The blatent or posiible intentional neglect of the most vunerable in nursing homes during covid19?..

    It’s another great media spun farce and you’re farcical if you buy the ticket for another episode of the never-ending political media freak show.

    It’s no wonder Julian Assange is being tortured to a slow death in solitary confinement in a british jail while awaiting an illegal and international human rights violating extradition to certain death at the hands of ‘murica as the evil empire…

    A certain death of a publisher, journalist and whistelblower and for what?…

    Only for legally publishing the truth..

    The truth that the international security services conspired to hide the fact that the military was indiscriminantly murdering thousands of people including journalists recorded live in real time on camera and that nobody, least of all mainstream journalism talks about the gravity of this and Assange’s fate anymore.

    The even more troubling fact is that beyond Assange, a single human being.. The precedent being set is that it is really the fate of journalism itself that is at stake…



    :-J –

    1. A Person

      Joe, when and why were you kicked out of jorno school. Was it for using overly loquacious language? Or was it because you move from the Taoisceah in the park to Julian Assange? “A contemptuous, narcissistic, deluded, invertibrate”….”der leodar” … seriously, are for Goo, Fart and Mustard in disguise, or just homophobic?

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Dear dear dear. A Thingy continues to prove his worth with eye opening observations on other posters, and nothing else. Dearie me.

        1. A Person

          And you all lob in. Isn’t the point of making a comment to contradict the crap that is in the previous comment? No, according to your Superior minds, yet never answer simple questions. You are all correct. I’m just waiting for the parrot response. Tell me, when are you going to form a govt or are you just going to hurl form the ditch (for you nordies, hurling is an Irish Gaelic sport as opposed to a a punishment tool).

      2. :-Joe

        Garrulous is probably a better word for your attempt at some witty banter or picking an argument to inevitably lose… – Based on my experience of your previous comments anyway..

        I have no idea what your question actually is and not for the first time. However, answering your attempted smear of homophobia based on my previous comments is so stupid it’s even beneath you, nevermind beneath me personally.

        To arrive at that conclusion, clearly it shows you can’t even read and comprehend my comments either, along with the hilariously daft fact about your own.

        Learn to re-read your own typing before posting or learn how to ask a question clearly and I will try to answer you back, however garrously it may be to you.

        At least have the sense try to understand what I’ve said before replying to it at all. Otherwise you just appear to be slightly, mentally retarded(euphamism treadmill).

        Funny that you talk about a supposed clique behaving the same way… Are you Rob_g ? – Not to kick over a nest of boredom but.. the reason I ask is that he has some serious comprehension problems replying to my comments too.

        I’m not a journalist or a failed one either but I’ve tried my best to format this as simple to read and understand as possible for you to avoid making it any more confusing for you.

        :-J –

    1. :-Joe

      He wants you to feast your eyes, satiate your deepest desires and fulfill your imagination left running wild….

      No need for tasty nibbles or libations, he is the picnic and he knows you love it….


      1. Clampers Outside

        He failed on that then :) I only see a couple and friends stop for a bit to enjoy the day what was in it in the park.

        1. :-Joe

          Ye ok, I wish I could be that forgiving or narrow minded.. I’m not sure which tbh…

          Would you not see it as at least a little bit in bad taste by any hypothetical undemocratically elected leader barely at the first sign of no fatalities in a pandemic and also in the middle of a brewing nursing home scandal of more neglect which will be brushed under the carpet?..

          I mean look at the balance sheet, what has he really done to deserve any kind of free pass on anything?.. A contemptuous, narcissistic, deluded, invertibrate… IMO

          The focus is unwarranted but I blame the media and it’s consumers for losing the plot and not holding everyone more accountable for shining the light on importance.

          der leodar is like an inversion of schrodingers cat or a hollywood a-list actor…
          If you stop looking at him and thinking about him he will disappear and his negative effects will go with him… until the next middle managment puppet comes along to replace him anyway. – No offence to people in true middle-managment.

          :-J –

          1. Clampers Outside

            No, I will not see a perfectly normal activity appropriately exorcised under the current rules as something to be viewed in bad taste.
            If we start viewing everything and anything day-to-day as requiring a “pass” then we end up with trivialities like this cluttering the news cycle.

            I say again, this whole thing is a nothing burger.

    2. SOQ

      You’d be having the wheeled in basket with the best china cups, saucers and teapot along with a home baked Victoria sponge cake then?

      Straight men are so gay these days. LOL

      1. :-Joe

        The perfect image for der leodar is a nude wet-fish buffet of himself in the middle as the pièce de résistance…

        Slap bang in the middle of a banquet hall in Dublin castle..

        The world leaders, the world market makers and our corporate globalised finacial master overlords all in attendance wating, salivating for a bite from the gleefully narcissistic dish that he prides himself on being.

        Think something like that scene in Eyes Wide Shut with the masks and the ritualised self importance of dullards with more power and wealth than sense..

        Only, although it’s even more grotesque and hell-ish it would also be hilarious.. to a point..

        I make no excuses or feel I should have to explain to anyone for my aspiring transcendental pan-sexuality!
        – It’s ok though, unlike the fake outrage celebrity nonsense online hypocrisy culture, I don’t get offended easily and I can take a joke..

        :-J –

        1. Rob_G

          Joe – how long have you been having these erotic fantasies about the Taoiseach – is it something you like to discuss with the group?

  6. Dr.Fart

    the “he’s only human” argument would apply to a regular citizen. and even then a lot of you would castigate “idiots” you see not complying with the guidelines. he is the leader of the country, he should lead by example. him doing this will mean to many many people that they can ignore the rules too. simple as that. and to anyone saying hes following the rules. he is not. they are all quite close to each other, and he is not “doing is excercise and leaving” .. he’s saying to the country by doing this “ah its just guidelines, nothign serious, do it or dont, up to you”

    1. millie in handcuffs

      I particularly enjoyed Holohan’s “what pictures? I saw no pictures!” response to Varadkar’s excursion.

      One rule for them and one for us. You’d think we’d have learned by now.

  7. f_lawless

    For me, the key take away from this is that the Taoiseach doesn’t actually believe in the danger of not following the guidelines that he and his department are imposing upon the rest of us. The emperor has no clothes (well no top, at least)

    1. SOQ

      If they loosen the restrictions and there is a second wave then there could be liability issues so by leaving it up to people to make their own minds up- there is none. It also positions himself as not really being in agreement with a longer than necessary lock down which is probably being driven by the medics.

      When you look at what has happened in the UK with schools for example, there is no consensus as to how to come out of lock-down. Some want to get back to normal as soon as possible and others are afraid- these would be on full pay of course.

      Apparently one member of the cabinet has expressed concerns about the country turning into a police state- he or she is right of course but I wonder who it was?

  8. Ringsend Incinerator

    What a sad, deluded individual who took those images. They very first to whinge about their human rights and entitlements – …

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